Tuesday, February 21, 2012

J.C. Penney Company (JCP) - Vol Falls into Earnings in Gapping Stock

JCP is trading $41.26, down 3.3% with IV30™ down 1.3%. The LIVEVOL® Pro Summary is below.


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J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (jcpenney) is a holding company. The Company is a retailer, operating 1,106 department stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico as of January 29, 2011. Its business is consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and through the Internet Website at jcp.com.

This is a vol note with earnings fast approaching. I last wrote about JCP on 1-26-2012. You can read that post here: J.C. Penney Company (JCP) - Overhaul and EPS Guidance Push Stock and Vol; Skew Bends. That was on the day of the stock pop.

Let's turn to the Charts Tab (six months), below. The top portion is the stock price, the bottom is the vol (IV30™ - red vs HV20™ - blue vs HV180™ - pink).

We can see the stock pop on 1-26-2012 (the prior bog has those details). A quick recap can be had from prior headlines:

-- J.C. Penney jumps after saying 2012 EPS may beat at 2010 earnings
-- J.C. Penney unveils new prices, logo, store design
-- jcpenney Unveils Long Term Financial Outlook at Day Two of Launch Event in New York City

On the vol side, we can see the spike in the HV20™ from the move, while the implied rose a bit as well. At the time of writing on 1-26-2012, the IV30™  was over 43%. Now, with earnings approaching, the implied is actually nearly 7% lower. It's that vol move (current level) that caught my attention. The 52 wk range in IV30™ is [31.87%, 66.21%], so the current level is in the 23rd percentile (annual). That's low relative vol, earnings approaching and a stock that just gapped. Oh, and the stock has moved nearly $1.50 today, alone.

Let's turn to the Skew Tab, below.

With earnings due out right before the weekly options expire, it's normal to see that front expiry elevated relative to the rest. We can also see that both the Feb weeklies and the Mar monthlies show an upside bend -- the option market reflects both downside risk and upside potential.

Finally, let's turn to the Options Tab, for completeness.

The Feb weekly options are priced to over 60% vol while Mar monthlies are priced to just over 40%. Those are expected vol differences. Said differently, the Mar ATM straddle is priced to ~$3.44 and the Feb weeklies are priced to ~ $2.07 (mid-market).

This is trade analysis, not a recommendation.

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